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Do Labor Market Opportunities Affect Young Women's Work and Family Decisions? Experimental Evidence from India

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  • Robert Jensen
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    Abstract

    Do labor market opportunities for women affect marriage and fertility decisions? We provided three years of recruiting services to help young women in randomly selected rural Indian villages get jobs in the business process outsourcing industry. Because the industry was so new at the time of the study, there was almost no awareness of these jobs, allowing us in effect to exogenously increase women's labor force opportunities from the perspective of rural households. We find that young women in treatment villages were significantly less likely to get married or have children during this period, choosing instead to enter the labor market or obtain more schooling or postschool training. Women also report wanting to have fewer children and to work more steadily throughout their lifetime, consistent with increased aspirations for a career. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 127 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 753-792

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:127:y:2012:i:2:p:753-792

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    1. Oded Galor, 2004. "The Demographic Transition and the Emergence of Sustained Economic Growth," GE, Growth, Math methods 0409005, EconWPA.
    2. Peter Gottschalk & John Fitzgerald & Robert Moffitt, 1997. "An Analysis of the Impact of Sample Attrition on the Second Generation of Respondents in the Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 399, Boston College Department of Economics.
    3. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
    4. Das, Jishnu & Dercon, Stefan & Habyarimana, James & Krishnan, Pramila & Muralidharan, Karthik & Sundararaman, Venkatesh, 2011. "School inputs, household substitution, and test scores," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5629, The World Bank.
    5. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2009. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1057-1094, August.
    6. Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2010. "Microeconomic Approaches to Development: Schooling, Learning, and Growth," Working Papers 985, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    7. Timothy W. Guinnane, 2011. "The Historical Fertility Transition: A Guide for Economists," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 589-614, September.
    8. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1982. "Market Opportunities, Genetic Endowments, and Intrafamily Resource Distribution: Child Survival in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 803-15, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Marcus Böhme, 2012. "Migration and Education Aspirations - Another Channel of Brain Gain?," Kiel Working Papers 1811, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    2. Francine D. Blau, 2013. "Comment on "The Female Labor Force and Long-run Development: The American Experience in Comparative Perspective"," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital in History: The American Record National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Venkataramani, Atheendar, 2013. "Cognitive Development and Infectious Disease: Gender Differences in Investments and Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 7833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Klasen, Stephan & Pieters, Janneke, 2013. "What Explains the Stagnation of Female Labor Force Participation in Urban India?," IZA Discussion Papers 7597, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Muralidharan, Karthik & Prakash, Nishith, 2013. "Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India," IZA Discussion Papers 7585, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Chiapa, Carlos & Garrido, José Luis & Prina, Silvia, 2012. "The effect of social programs and exposure to professionals on the educational aspirations of the poor," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 778-798.
    7. Majlesi, Kaveh, 2014. "Labor Market Opportunities and Women's Decision Making Power within Households," Working Papers 2014:4, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    8. Chari, A.V. & Maertens, Annemie, 2014. "Gender, productive ability and the perceived returns to education: Evidence from rural India," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 253-257.
    9. Heath, Rachel, 2014. "Women’s Access to Labor Market Opportunities, Control of Household Resources, and Domestic Violence: Evidence from Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 32-46.
    10. Ayako Wakano & Hiroyuki Yamada & Daichi Shimamoto, 2014. "Does the heterogeneity of project implementers affect the program participation of beneficiaries? : Evidence from rural Cambodia," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-21, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    11. Oster, Emily & Steinberg, Bryce Millett, 2013. "Do IT service centers promote school enrollment? Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 123-135.

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